Penguin Michael Joseph has landed Brookyln-based journalist Andrea Bartz's "nail-biting" thriller, We Were Never Here.
The novel follows best friends Emily and Kristen as they holiday in Chile, having the time of their lives. One night, Emily returns to their hotel suite to find it covered in blood.
The synopsis explains: "Kristen claims a backpacker attacked her. She shouted, but no-one heard. She struggled, but he was too strong. She had no option but to kill him. And with no evidence of the assault, Emily must help her hide the body. Back home, Emily tries to forget what happened, but a surprise visit from Kristen forces her to confront the events of that night. And as the walls close in, Emily asks herself: can her closest friend be trusted?"
Editorial director Clio Cornish acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Denise Cronin at PRH US at auction. It is out now in e-book and audio format, and will be published in hardback later this month, with a paperback to come in 2022. The thriller was recently announced as the August Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
Bartz said: "I'm so excited that my globe-trotting thriller has found a UK home! I hope its themes of toxic friendship and women's safety resonate with readers there—and most importantly, I hope it's a fun and fast-paced read for anyone who has ever considered what could go wrong during the holiday of a lifetime."
Cornish added: "I inhaled this sharp, unsettling and unpredictable thriller, which casts an insightful eye over friendship and co-dependence against an electrifying backdrop of female rage. Emily and Kristen are a knock-out duo—think a more twisted Thelma and Louise—and I can’t wait for UK readers to meet them."